There’s plenty happening across the ditch, from new venues to activities. Read on for a comprehensive update.
New Craggy Range Owners Cottage
Craggy Range has opened the doors to the Owner’s Lodge located at its Giants Winery in Hawke’s Bay New Zealand. Featuring four king bedrooms, a chef’s kitchen, a formal living area that overlooks Te Mata Peak, dining and lounge areas around an open fire and an in-ground pool that sits high above the valley in landscaped surrounds.
Rotorua, New Zealand’s cultural and geo-thermal hub, is home to a brand new eco experience high above the forest floor. High above the Whakarewarewa Forest floor, in New Zealand’s North Island, Californian Redwood trees tower above everything else. The Redwoods Treewalk in Rotorua is the first of its kind in New Zealand and showcases a lesser known tourism activity in a region that is renowned for its geo-thermal attractions and Māori culture.
New activity at Waitomo Caves
Waitomo Adventures Ltd has pioneered a new route through the top of the Lost World cave at Waitomo, called ‘Lost World Through The Window’. The new tour will allow visitors to simply walk in on a staircase attached to a sheer cliff face. When the stairs run out in thin air you use two tyroleans (similar to a zip line) to continue along upper levels of the cave. This activity is far less physically demanding than other options and should have appeal to anyone wanting to see this very special place but who doesn’t fancy the dramatic abseil. It suits a wide range of people from 10 years upwards and will be at a lower price point.
Thunderbirds exhibit at Weta Workshop
Fans of the Thunderbirds will be able to see and experience some of the visual effects artistry behind the show in the new tourism experience that has just been opened at Weta Workshop in Wellington’s Miramar film hub. The Thunderbirds Are Go Behind-The-Scenes Experience takes guests on an exclusive tour of the authentic props, models and set pieces used in the production of the hit Pukeko Pictures and ITV television show.
New Transport Museum in Invercargill
Bill Richardson Transport World in Invercargill is a 15,000 square metre attraction that opened in December 2015 and features over 250 cars, trucks, retro Kombi vans and other vehicles from throughout New Zealand and the world, plus a café, conference rooms and other facilities. Not just for truck enthusiasts, Transport World was consciously designed to have something for everyone and includes family play zones, wearable art fashion exhibits, and a theatre.
Forgotten World train adventure
New Zealanders have a strong entrepreneurial streak so it’s not surprising to discover some bright spark took a disused railway line, and a bunch of golf carts and built a thriving business. Forgotten World Adventures is the ultimate slow train, running from Okahukura in the Central Plateau, to Whangamomona, a place that should have fallen off the map, but hasn’t. The town (population: 40), which declared itself a republic 25 years ago, can be accessed by road, but it’s much more fun to take the golf cart. The carts have been adapted to run on rails and are self-driven. There are sheep, alpacas and wild berries along the way and you can stop at any time during the eight-hour journey. At the end of the 83-kilometre line is the Whangamomona Hotel, which claims to be the most remote pub in New Zealand.
Fine Arts Tours launch in Auckland
Fine Arts Tours NZ have just added a range of experiences to its line-up that include a private shop and dine experience in Mt Eden village, Auckland and a ‘new world vs old world’ comparative wine tasting with a well-respected French wine importer. High profile chefs and sommeliers are available to host these experiences for that extra special touch.
The Culpeper opens in Auckland
The latest addition to Auckland’s viaduct is The Culpeper. Celebrity Chef from New Zealand’s version of My Kitchen Rules Gareth Stewart has created a menu focusing on seafood and BBQ from all over the globe and has a great selection of craft beer, wine and cocktails. Views over the Waitemata Harbour make this an idyllic dining spot. Start with Blackened hapuka sliders, pickled lemon aioli, shaved baby fennel then move on to their already famous Wakanui beef brisket, jalapeno mustard with bread and butter pickles.
Waitangi Museum open now
New Zealand’s newest cultural icon, the Museum of Waitangi, in the Bay of Islands, is destined to become a site of great national significance and a major visitor attraction. The Museum of Waitangi – formally named Te Kōngahu – sits on the historic site recognised as the birthplace of the nation of New Zealand and was opened on Waitangi Day (6 February – New Zealand’s national day celebration) by the Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae.
The museum is a modern and comprehensive showcase of the role of the Treaty of Waitangi in the past, present and future of New Zealand.
The two-storied museum building houses a permanent exhibition Ko Waitangi Tenei: This is Waitangi which explores the stories of Waitangi – the people, the place and the Treaty. The exhibition features many valuable and significant historic pieces previously scattered through museums and private collections throughout the country and overseas.
Miann dessert restaurant opens in AucklandLocated in Fort St, one of Auckland’s newest dining districts, is dessert restaurant Miann. Opened in 2015 this establishment has quickly become known as must-do for delectable desserts. Pastry chef and owner Brian Campbell’s well thought out menu is very seasonal and he will only work with the best produce he can get. Miann translates from Gaelic into ‘to desire’ or ‘to crave’ which suits the offering of high end desserts, chocolates, petit gateaux, macarons and much more. May will showcase some of Autumn’s gems, expect to see roasted Granny Smith apple, feijoa, Dulcey granola, blackberry, lemon and Miyoga ginger.